I’ve been working in the Tech Recruitment industry for a while now and an aspect that has bothered me from the very first time was feedback. And by this I mean the feedback that companies give to candidates that they reject.
Now If you are a Software Developer who went through an application process with 3 or 4 steps, that consists of HR call, technical test, pair programming and another call with a Lead Developer/ CTO that takes you through everything again only to be rejected because “there are better candidates on the pipeline” or “you aren’t what we are looking for” you know what I am talking about.
During my time at Caissa Global I have talked to candidates that are not thrilled anymore of going through yet another application process because of the bad experiences that they went through.
Most of them don’t mind the rejection part the most, but the not-knowing-why-they-were-rejected part, and for good reason.
Why would anyone want to go through a process that can spread for over 3 – 4 weeks and at the end of the process to only be told something like “you are not the candidate that we looking for”? I wouldn’t.
Why are companies giving general and unspecific feedback when rejecting candidates?
I’ve asked my colleagues at Caissa this question, and I’ve got a wide range of answers like:
- feedback passed on by the development team to HR is abbreviated
- HR does not receive feedback in the first place
- interviews do not follow a specific format and thus notes from interviews are not shared
- people don’t realize the importance of feedback
- tedious extra work
- HR is just incompetent
They are all valid points that I’ve also come across at one point or another. Although I do think the root of all of these reasons is one thing: company culture.
This magical thing that MDs, CEOs, founders and HR managers all talk about, companies investing in making employee friendly offices, relaxation and meditation rooms or providing free lunches or drinks such as the now famous Club-Mate.
It is well known that productivity grows exponentially if employees feel that they can express themselves, can be creative and feel that what they are doing is important and has a big impact.
Is throwing some cool perks at employees enough to have a great company culture?
In my opinion, it’s a good start but besides the perks there are also specific aspects that need to be improved so that you do create a platform where employees thrive.
From the values and habits that you promote, to communication and transparency, appreciating and recognizing good work, how you deal with failure, and how you recruit and reject people.
Candidate feedback is a part of your company culture
If you want to recruit the best people to fit in and drive a great company culture, you also have to take in mind the rejection part.
If you send a candidate a general, politically correct rejection, it won’t help them and long term it won’t help you in any way.
Sure in the short term it’s something easier to do, you don’t want to offend in any way the candidate, and giving good and constructive feedback can take more time. However, if you truly want to improve your company culture, and if you want your employees to feel valued and respected and you reject candidates in a way that contradicts this, it will affect you.
It will affect your image because those candidates will inform the market, will tell their friends to stay away from you, it will drop the number of people that apply for your jobs and it will ultimately come to the ears of your employees.
So if you want to attract a lot of valuable people in your company think also of the people that you will reject, tell them where they still have to improve, and be honest and kind when doing this. This will help them a lot along the way, and who knows in the future they might apply again and show you how much they improved thanks to your feedback.
Written by Andrei Curtui
Get most recent content to your mailbox. Subscribe here.